January – Garnet
Colour: Burnt orange, deep red, mahogany brown and more unusually yellow to lime green.
Sources: Burma, Brazil, China, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Tanzania, United States
Interesting Facts: A garnet in its crystal form is rounded and so its name is derived from the Latin word for grain, and, also from its similarity to the red seed of a pomegranate.
February – Amethyst
Colour: Lilac to blackberry purple
Sources: Mainly Brazil, Madagascar, Zambia, Uruguay.
Interesting Facts: Amethyst means ‘not drunk’ in Greek and in past times was worn as an amulet to ward off drunkenness.
March – Aquamarine
Colour: Mostly green but can be brown, translucent or opaque.
Sources: Mainly Brazil, also Australia (Queensland), Burma, China, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Zambia and United States
Interesting Facts: Aquamarine is named after its sea water colour and means ‘water of the sea’ in Latin.
April – Diamond
Colour: Colourless, pale yellow, brown, black, rarely; pink, green, blue, red, orange.
Sources: Australia, Botswana, Russia, South Africa, Zaire, Namibia, Brazil, Ghana.
Interesting Facts: Diamond derives its name from the Greek word ‘adamas’ which means unconquerable.
May – Emerald
Colour: Light green to dark green.
Sources: Brazil, Columbia, Ghana, India, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia
Interesting Facts: Emerald is named after the Greek word ‘smaragdos’ which means green stone.
June – Pearl
Colour: White, cream, golden, pink, silver, grey, black.
Sources: China, Japan
Interesting Facts: Pearls have been used in jewellery for 6000 years and in 2500BC a large pearl trade existed in China.
July – Ruby
Colour: Pale to deep red.
Sources: Mainly Burma, Thailand, Sri Lanka
Interesting Facts: Named after its colour ‘ruber’ meaning red in Latin.
August – Peridot
Colour: Vibrant lime green to dark olive green.
Sources: Burma, Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, Norway, United States
Interesting Facts: Peridot derives its name from the word ‘faridat’ which is Arabic for gem.
September – Sapphire
Colour: Pale to royal blue, dark blue, colourless, pink, peach, orange, yellow, green, purple.
Sources: Australia, Burma, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United States
Interesting Facts: Sapphire is named after its colour – it means blue in Greek.
October – Opal
Colour: Milky or grey background with flashes of colours; orange, red, green, blue. ‘Fire Opal’ is bright orange.
Sources: Mainly from Australia but also from USA, Brazil, Mexico
Interesting Facts: Mainly cut as cabochon stones, opal are formed from silica gel.
November – Topaz
Colour: Colourless, yellow, orange, red-brown, light to dark blue, pink.
Sources: Mainly Brazil (Light blue topaz have been found in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Cornwall)
Interesting Facts: Topaz is probably named after an island in the Red Sea, formerly Topazos, now Zabargad.
December – Turquoise
Colour: Sky blue to green blue.
Sources: Iran, Tibet, Mexico, USA, Russia, Chile, Australia
Interesting Facts: One of the first gemstones ever to be mined, some turqouise jewellery can be dated back as more than 3000 years old.